Brexit and Employee Mental Health

Brexit has affected every facet of the social, political and economic climate in the UK. “Throughout the UK, many people feel labelled, stereotyped and judged. There has been an unacceptable 57% increase in reported incidence of hate crimes since the referendum. Many people in black and ethnic minority groups are feeling especially vulnerable as a result” – Mental Health Foundation.

As organisations work out what this means to them, it is important to address and manage the mental health and wellbeing of their employees. This is especially true for EU citizens living and working here.  As experts warn that Brexit will ‘take its toll on engagement levels, which have already dropped over the last year’ (CEB to HR magazine) there needs to be specific efforts to ensuring employees feel safe and this does not result in further pressure to employee assistance or even increase absence.

Experts advise that “It’s vitally important that staff are kept in the loop and they feel as though the business is still in control of its own future.” – HR Magazine. Highlighting the need for information and communication through these changes – an integral step to ensure that employee mental health in the workplace is looked after and businesses continue to grow. As the Mental Health Foundation points out, ‘such upheavals can result in shame, anger, regret and fear – big drivers for anxiety and stress’. It is important for employers to equip line managers with skills to manage employees who may be experiencing this and provide adequate information to answer questions regarding the changes.

Through our skills based, workplace mental health training programme, Maudsley Learning at Work helps line managers in having these conversations with employees who may feel stressed, anxious or may experience any mental health issue. And the only way to deal with mental health issues is to normalise the subject and the only way to get the support right is to have these conversations.

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